Tomatoes and peppers are easiest and most popular home grown vegetables.
When my favorite Canadian cousin asked for advice and gardening suggestions, I thought about NicholsGarden Nusery. I’ve been ordering from Nichols for 20 years.
Cousin Sheila wanted to know what seeds would be good for her friend, a new gardener in Alaska.
They raise cabbage in Alaska that make my Missouri crop look like Brussels Sprouts. The first people I would turn to if I wanted to know about gardening in Canada are her parents, my Uncle and Aunt.
Nobody knows Alaska gardening better than Jeff Lowenfels. His column in the Anchorage Daily News is helpful for all gardeners, especially Alaskans.
I was going to suggest some of the best catalogs for colder climates, but Jeff’s suggestions are exactly what I was going to suggest. Seed Catalogs for Alaska gardeners.
If your friend wants to follow a great Gardening Blog, Kathy Purdy’s
Cold Climate Gardening is one of the best.
Rose Marie Nichols McGee introduced me to Indigo Rose. “It’s the worlds first high anthocyanin tomato,” she said. “Oh, really,” I said. (Note to self, What the heck is anthocyanin? Find out.)
Rose Marie sent seed, and I grew little blue tomatoes last summer. So, I grew beautiful little saladette Indigo Rose tomatoes.
When exposed to full sun, these Indigo Rose tomatoes turn blue. Photo Patsy Bell Hobson
If I was a new gardener, I’d buy a couple of tomato plants and a pepper plant. Then, I would grow leafy greens from seed. Lettuces to start, then chard, kale, and/or spinach.
Or, if I am planting a first garden in Alaska, I might grow these vegetables from Nichols. Rose Marie Nichols McGee has a great blog on the Nichols site, The Gardener’s Pantry Blog.
Garden 1. Salad, tomato, squash. cucumber
Start with salad greens, radish and spinach
lettuce and spinach will be suceeded by tomato and pepper plants. Photo PBH
- Mesclun – (mixed lettuces) Nichols Organic Mesclun “The Eclectic Eleven”
Why? Because you get a lot of different salad greens, all in one packet.
- Radish – Easter Egg Radish
Why? Because there a several colors and all taste the same (not hot).
- Spinach – Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach and/or chard or kale
Why? – Fresh spinach salad with hot bacon dressing
Sungold tomato. photo: PBH
- Tomato: Sun Gold – The sweetest cherry tomato ever.
- Tomato: Glacier – Very early medium sized tomato
- Tomato: Oregon Spring – Large early fruits from compact plants.
- Squash: Jackpot Zucchini – early, non stop production.
- Cucumber: National Pickling – compact, small for pickling and fresh.
Garden 2. Tomatoes, squash and green beans
Stupice heirloom, early producer. Photo: Renee’s Garden
Another choice for a first garden: Tomatoes, squash and green beans are a good starter garden. I’ve gown these plants in my garden, and they will do well in Alaska too. These seeds are from Renee’s Garden.
- Tomato: Stupice – Early bearing, cold tolerant, with richly flavored fruits on short vines. Heirloom.
- Tomato: Italian Pompeii – loads up early with heavy harvests of meaty plum tomatoes.
- Tomato: Little Red Pear – vigorous vines load up with clusters of petite pear-shaped ruby-red fruits. Heirloom.
- Green Beans: Rolande – French “haricot verts”, long skinny, tender full flavor green beans.
- Green Beans: Provider – Great tasting, highly productive and reliable variety. Heirloom.
- Squash: Tricolor Mix – three beautiful zucchini summer squash in one packet.
Join Renee’s Comunity Garden. Find fellow gardeners and get your garden questions answered here. I’ll see you at Renee’s Community Garden.
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